Senegal, having started CAN 2023 on a strong note with three successive victories, stumbled in the round of 16 against the host nation, Ivory Coast.
Despite an early goal from Habib Diallo, Senegal was caught up by Ivory Coast, which equalized with a late penalty by Franck Kessié. The match ultimately went to penalties, where the reigning African champions were ousted by the Elephants. This outcome marks a significant setback for Cissé, who had aspirations of leading Sadio Mané’s generation to consecutive CAN titles.
✅ Aliou Cissé est parti à la CAN sans 6 mois de salaire.
✅ Il a eu un malaise à en pleine compétition à Yamoussoukro.
✅ Malgré tout, il est resté au côté de ses joueurs pour défendre les couleurs Sénégalaises🇸🇳.
😢 A son retour à Dakar, des supporters se permettent de l'huer… pic.twitter.com/ITz8QlmwDh
— Footsen⭐ (@footsen221) January 31, 2024
Following the disappointment at CAN 2023, the future looks uncertain for Cissé, Senegal’s head coach. According to well-informed Senegalese journalist Sané Malang, as reported by Football 365, Cissé is not expected to continue in his role with the Senegalese team. This comes shortly after Senegal’s penalty shootout loss to Ivory Coast in the tournament’s round of 16.
Although Cissé led Senegal to an African championship victory in 2021, this edition of CAN proved underwhelming for the Teranga Lions and is likely to mark the end of Cissé’s respected tenure as coach. The question now arises: what’s next for Aliou Cissé post-Senegal?
During CAN 2023, Senegalese football legend El Hadji Diouf praised Cissé, suggesting he has the caliber to manage top-tier clubs, even naming Olympique de Marseille as a potential fit. Diouf expressed confidence in Cissé’s abilities, stating, “Aliou Cissé is good. We fire a coach because they’re bad. And I believe that when he (Cissé) leaves this team, he won’t be without a job for long.”
Diouf further commended Cissé: “Special mention to Aliou Cissé, who has shown significant progress since the tournament began. He’s a world-class coach. He deserves, perhaps after Senegal, to coach teams like Marseille or other top clubs in France, England, or elsewhere.
Senegal: Bad news for Aliou Cissé
The decision [about his continuation with Senegal] will come because he loves this country and still wants to contribute much to it. Every day, I vote for him to remain at the helm of the Teranga Lions. We don’t want to lose a coach who’s doing a great job,” concluded Diouf.
If Cissé’s departure from the Senegalese helm is confirmed, it raises questions about his future. His experience and success with Senegal might attract international clubs. Cissé, known for his managerial style and tactical acumen, could be a valuable asset for teams seeking an experienced leader.
Reflecting on Cissé’s Legacy with Senegal
As Senegal begins the search for Cissé’s successor, it’s crucial to consider the legacy he leaves behind. Beyond the continental championship in 2022, Cissé led the Teranga Lions to the CAN 2019 final, showcasing consistent high-level performance. The upcoming World Cup 2023 qualifiers in June pose a significant challenge for Senegal. The selection of the next coach will be closely watched, as they will need to sustain the positive momentum established by Cissé, while potentially introducing new elements to the team.
As the official announcement regarding Cissé’s future awaits, Senegal holds its breath.
Do you think it’s the best decision for Senegal to part ways with Aliou Cissé?